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Six injured in Sanford school bus wreck

Posted January 31, 2013

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— Six people were injured Thursday morning when a pickup truck slammed into the back of a school bus picking up a student on N.C. Highway 42 in Sanford, Lee County Schools officials said.

Emergency crews responding to the wreck around 7:40 a.m. found four children injured on the bus and two people, including another child, injured in the pickup truck.

The truck's driver, Brian Warren, 17, a student at Southern Lee High School, was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, State Trooper Greg Ingram said. Warren's 7-year-old brother, River Warren, a student at J.R. Ingram Elementary School, was also transported by ambulance to UNC Hospitals.

The extent of their injuries was not immediately known. Ingram, however, said it did not initially appear that they were life-threatening.

Four children on the school bus were taken to a Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford with minor injuries, school district officials said.

Authorities said the school bus, which was carrying 31 students and two adults, was on its way to J.R. Ingram Elementary and was stopped with its stop arm out and lights flashing at the time of the wreck.

"The impact was incredible," said Carrie Howard, a bus monitor who was on board at the time of the crash. "Honestly, it sounded like a bomb going off."

Howard said she ran to the back of the bus to check on the children, and that's when she noticed the truck.

"It was just demolished," she said. "I could not believe it, and my first thought was, 'How could anybody survive that?'"

Howard said she also recognized both of the Warren boys.

"It just broke my heart to see him laying there with a neck brace and struggling in pain," she said of one of the boys. "I just wanted to get him out."

The wreck remains under investigation, and authorities said a determination of charges would be decided after everyone involved has been interviewed.

Guidance counselors from other Lee County schools were sent to the school to counsel students.

49 Comments

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  • sunfundreamer Jan 31, 5:36 p.m.

    I commented this morning in agreement with the sun issue. I drive the road that runs pararel to it & the sun was extremely blinding this morning. I heard the sirens as I was getting in my vehicle, so I know it was close to the same when the accident happened. After reading the back & forth all day & finding out more about the accident, I could give a rat's yea about the sun or a distraction. I'm just glad it wasn't any worse! I have a teenager & I live in fear of getting a call about an accident! Poor little 7-yr old River wasn't hurt too bad, and he was mostly scared too death over the accident & seeing his big brother hurt & hauled away in a helicopter. Fischer's femur bone is completely broken & one can only imagine the pain he must have been in. He had to be cut free. He is a senior this year & has a long road ahead of him. Prayers & healing for everyone!

  • don23 Jan 31, 4:17 p.m.

    Please don't judge the mind of a 17 year old kid. We were all 17. I'm thankful they didn't have cell phones when I was 17. We all make mistakes. The good news...no fatalities. Prayers to all the families.

  • uncfan89 Jan 31, 3:55 p.m.

    LIke Elem-Teach said the picture was take sometime after the accident not right when the accident happened the sun may not have been a factor by the time the picture was taken. I made a comment to my daughter this morning how bright the sun was this morning. On our drive to school/work some mornings depending on the time we leave the sun can be a problem, even with sunglasses and the visor down. Let the Highway Patrol do their job and comment after the investigation is complete! Just becasue the driver is 17 dosen't mean that he was texting or doing something he shouldn't have been. Prayers for all involved! The most important thing is that everyone recovers quickly.

  • Obamacare rises Jan 31, 3:36 p.m.

    School buses should be bright pink with glowing neon adverstisements all over them. Everyone wins.

  • Cold Hard Truth Jan 31, 3:32 p.m.

    I heard there is a bad hill there that you can't see over and he didn't see the bus at all. But anyway people were injured and people shouldn't be arguing about the sun or anything else. Just hope all the people recover fully.

  • Skywatch_NC Jan 31, 3:25 p.m.

    Do school buses have seatbelts?

    Guess I wasn't able to answer your question earlier.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Jan 31, 3:16 p.m.

    Wow, some of you are really judgmental. Praying for all involved.

  • Skywatch_NC Jan 31, 3:10 p.m.

    Do school buses have seatbelts?

    Most do not, unfortunately.

  • GravyPig Jan 31, 3:09 p.m.

    "Please, you're speculating from an arial picture taken from a helicopter.

    I know for a fact.........I dropped my child off at 7:38 AM this morning."

    Like I said, Neither of us is going to convince the other they are right or wrong. Yes, shadows and the sun work a certain way. I drive a road in the AM that gets a blast of sun right down the middle of it as it rises. As the sun continues to rise the road stays in the sun. What you are saying is contrary to how the sun and shadows operate. If the sun was in your eyes at 7:38, then at 8:30 the road should still be in the sun. A view from above does not change how light is transmitted.

  • mac240 Jan 31, 2:51 p.m.

    Maybe if they paint the buses bright orange and put flashing lights on them they will be easier to see!

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